In the previous post, we looked at the motives of pirates and ofered some recommendations for those who offer digital products. In this post, I would like to suggest why it is a good idea to consider buying apps if you can. This is not based on morals, but on practical grounds.
Piracy, regardless of its justification, sometimes puts you at risk. I do not mean that all the time, but these days it is even more dangerous than ever to install pirated copies of some programs or apps.
What are the dangers?
When a program bypasses some security features built into the program itself or the operating system, it does so by exploiting some vulnerability. This may not always work, so you may be required to either
- Disable your antivirus; or
- Lower the UAC level to 0 on Windows Vista upwards.
While this makes your app work, yet it may cause some undesired side effects.
The source of the program you are running may not always be trustworthy. You trust it based on the simple fact that they do not cause harm to you, but that is all. You got a program you had been looking for for a long time.
You further rely on your antivirus program and your skill in detecting viruses. But then, remember what I said above: you may be required to lower the defences on your system for a pirated copy of program to work. So you may have even disabled some features that make your antivirus effective. This explains why I said that your system is compromised already.
In fact, in most pirated programs, you are not required to update the program: you have to wait until a new updated cracked program is released. Then you will update to that copy as well.
But this is where another problem stems from: software updates are often done to address a bug (a flaw in the program) or some security concern.
With you not updating, you are left with no option but to run a program that may not only be outdated but also fraught with bugs: of which some of these bugs may affect the stability of the operating system itself.
You may suffer from the revenge by developers: some small developers may deliberately distribute pirated copies of their programs. These copies may be infected with some virus or worm. When you run it, you are exposing your device to infection. While this may not be fair to you, remember the developer even feels strongly against anyone who thrives on stealing their work. So he may feel that you are also not fair in getting his work as well.
While it may be unpalatable, the solution is consider buying apps or any digital product if you can.
While buying apps makes you support the efort of the programmer directly by motivating him or her to work on that app, it protects you in the process. You can always update your programs whenever new versions are released.
If it is a product you think you cannot afford to miss, consider looking for alternatives. Remember how NVDA got to the top? It was because it proved to be a better alternative to expensive screen-readers.
Do not just get programs just for the sake of it: get them because you want them. The good news is that here in Zimbabwe since 2009 with the dollarisation of the economy, many apps in the Android Play Store and the App Store are now affordable. They may range from as little as $1,50 to $15. So from your airtime budget each month, you can spare a few dollars to get one or two apps.
Remember, I said buy the apps if you can. If you cant because you have no money, then do not feel morally bound to force yourself to do what you cannot do. Just like any other tip, this one was intended to just act as a suggestion, a mere pointer and an awareness as to why it may be beneficial to buy apps versus pirating them.
Thank you for reading this post. See you in the next one.